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Her Quiet Revolution: A Novel of Martha Hughes Cannon: Frontier Doctor and First Female State Senator

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An historically rich novel that brings to life the fascinating story of America’s first female state senator, Martha Hughes Cannon, who was also a doctor, suffragist, and champion of public health in the frontier territory of Utah in the late 19th century.   As a young girl traveling to Utah by wagon in 1861, Martha, or Mattie as she was called, was deeply influenced by th An historically rich novel that brings to life the fascinating story of America’s first female state senator, Martha Hughes Cannon, who was also a doctor, suffragist, and champion of public health in the frontier territory of Utah in the late 19th century.   As a young girl traveling to Utah by wagon in 1861, Martha, or Mattie as she was called, was deeply influenced by the early struggles her family endured as frontier pioneers, including the premature deaths of her baby sister and father. From those early experiences, she found her calling. Alleviating physical suffering and healing became her goals, and Mattie worked with astounding dedication and resolve to achieve those goals. She began teaching school at age fourteen and worked as a typesetter for the influential Women’s Exponent newspaper to pay for college where she graduated with a degree in chemistry.   In 1880, Mattie stepped into the lecture hall of the University of Michigan medical school, the only woman in the class and one of a handful of women to attend the school in its history. The room erupted at her entrance—laughter, scoffing, voices calling out, and more than one person muttering about the “hen medic.” Many male professors, thinking it indelicate, refused to discuss anatomy if women students were in the room, and they were often forced to observe from an annex area outside the regular classroom.     Resolved and single-minded, Mattie graduated from medical school at the age twenty-three, the only female in her class. As a doctor, she returned to frontier Utah, set up a medical practice, and established classes for midwives where she lectured on obstetrics. As a suffragette, she was outspoken at the Columbia Exposition of Chicago, where she delivered a rousing speech on behalf of women’s rights. She married in secrecy at age twenty-seen, and later lived in exile for two years because her husband practiced plural marriage, which was illegal, and she didn’t want to testify against him.   She returned to Utah in 1888 and took an active part in politics and women’s suffrage. She ran for office as a Democrat against the Republican candidate, who was her husband and won, becoming the first woman ever elected as a state senator in the US.   This is the first historical fiction novel based on the real life of Martha Hughes Cannon, a woman whose extraordinary life as a pioneer woman paralleled the life of the nation, struggling to grow and expand westward, wrestling with the rights and freedoms guaranteed to all its citizens, including women, and overcoming tremendous odds and roadblocks by forging the uniquely American spirit of the west: independence, innovation, dedication, and stick-to-itiveness which defined her generation and this chapter in American history.


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An historically rich novel that brings to life the fascinating story of America’s first female state senator, Martha Hughes Cannon, who was also a doctor, suffragist, and champion of public health in the frontier territory of Utah in the late 19th century.   As a young girl traveling to Utah by wagon in 1861, Martha, or Mattie as she was called, was deeply influenced by th An historically rich novel that brings to life the fascinating story of America’s first female state senator, Martha Hughes Cannon, who was also a doctor, suffragist, and champion of public health in the frontier territory of Utah in the late 19th century.   As a young girl traveling to Utah by wagon in 1861, Martha, or Mattie as she was called, was deeply influenced by the early struggles her family endured as frontier pioneers, including the premature deaths of her baby sister and father. From those early experiences, she found her calling. Alleviating physical suffering and healing became her goals, and Mattie worked with astounding dedication and resolve to achieve those goals. She began teaching school at age fourteen and worked as a typesetter for the influential Women’s Exponent newspaper to pay for college where she graduated with a degree in chemistry.   In 1880, Mattie stepped into the lecture hall of the University of Michigan medical school, the only woman in the class and one of a handful of women to attend the school in its history. The room erupted at her entrance—laughter, scoffing, voices calling out, and more than one person muttering about the “hen medic.” Many male professors, thinking it indelicate, refused to discuss anatomy if women students were in the room, and they were often forced to observe from an annex area outside the regular classroom.     Resolved and single-minded, Mattie graduated from medical school at the age twenty-three, the only female in her class. As a doctor, she returned to frontier Utah, set up a medical practice, and established classes for midwives where she lectured on obstetrics. As a suffragette, she was outspoken at the Columbia Exposition of Chicago, where she delivered a rousing speech on behalf of women’s rights. She married in secrecy at age twenty-seen, and later lived in exile for two years because her husband practiced plural marriage, which was illegal, and she didn’t want to testify against him.   She returned to Utah in 1888 and took an active part in politics and women’s suffrage. She ran for office as a Democrat against the Republican candidate, who was her husband and won, becoming the first woman ever elected as a state senator in the US.   This is the first historical fiction novel based on the real life of Martha Hughes Cannon, a woman whose extraordinary life as a pioneer woman paralleled the life of the nation, struggling to grow and expand westward, wrestling with the rights and freedoms guaranteed to all its citizens, including women, and overcoming tremendous odds and roadblocks by forging the uniquely American spirit of the west: independence, innovation, dedication, and stick-to-itiveness which defined her generation and this chapter in American history.

30 review for Her Quiet Revolution: A Novel of Martha Hughes Cannon: Frontier Doctor and First Female State Senator

  1. 4 out of 5

    Angela M

    4.5 Fictional biographies are tough ones for me to read because throughout the book I’m usually wondering how much is true to the person. I’m always tempted to do a little digging to see some of the details of the person’s life. While I know it’s fiction, it’s important for me to know. Whenever I’m disappointed, I vow not to read the genre. Then along comes one that piques my interest and I couldn’t resist. I’m so glad I didn’t because I was not disappointed here . I had never heard of Martha Hug 4.5 Fictional biographies are tough ones for me to read because throughout the book I’m usually wondering how much is true to the person. I’m always tempted to do a little digging to see some of the details of the person’s life. While I know it’s fiction, it’s important for me to know. Whenever I’m disappointed, I vow not to read the genre. Then along comes one that piques my interest and I couldn’t resist. I’m so glad I didn’t because I was not disappointed here . I had never heard of Martha Hughes Cannon until I read a description of this book. She was absolutely a fascinating woman, intelligent, determined, full of curiosity about science, full of love for her family, her religion, and the polygamist man she marries. She becomes a physician in a time when it wasn’t easy for women to pursue medicine in a field dominated by men, many of whom could not accept that a woman had what it took. Martha Hughes Cannon proves them wrong in so many ways despite the unfair treatment by some of her professors. As a young girl, she migrates from Wales with her Mormon family to the Utah Territory in the early 1860’s and is determined to go to medical school in spite of her mother’s objections. Fortunately she is supported by her stepfather and church elders, including Brigham Young who encourages women to become physicians. Her life though, becomes too complicated for her stay in a Utah to practice medicine, as her marriage causes legal issues for her, since polygamy is outlawed and she must flee. Later, she goes on to become the first woman state senator in Utah, a champion for women’s rights. I found this to be a wonderful work of historical fiction since Cannon’s life tells us much about the fight for women’s rights, suffrage, statehood and the importance and impact that women yielded in the latter 1800’s in the country. I appreciated the quotes at the end of each chapter taken from her notes in medical school as they reflect her scientific curiosity and awareness. I especially appreciated how Marianne Munson details at the end where in each chapter she took liberties. None of these, in my view took away from the pretty true portrayal of Martha Hughes Canon’s life, a fascinating one to say the least. I received an advanced copy of this book from Shadow Mountain Publishers through Edelweiss.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maja - BibliophiliaDK ✨

    AN INTERESTING WOMAN - A NOT SO INTERESTING BOOK Actual rating: 2.5 ⭐ Rating this one was hard - honestly, it wasn't a bad book by any means. It just wasn't as good as it could have been. Given the source and the history there was so much potential. Sadly, I didn't feel like it was realised. 👍 WHAT I LIKED 👍 Martha: What I liked the most was getting a glimpse into the life of this extraordinary woman, whom I actually didn't know anything about. The first female state senator, suffragette fighter, d AN INTERESTING WOMAN - A NOT SO INTERESTING BOOK Actual rating: 2.5 ⭐ Rating this one was hard - honestly, it wasn't a bad book by any means. It just wasn't as good as it could have been. Given the source and the history there was so much potential. Sadly, I didn't feel like it was realised. 👍 WHAT I LIKED 👍 Martha: What I liked the most was getting a glimpse into the life of this extraordinary woman, whom I actually didn't know anything about. The first female state senator, suffragette fighter, doctor and orator. Truly an inspiring woman. 👎 WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE 👎 Characters: Sadly, I felt that the character were flat and lifeless. Martha (or Mattie, as she is known in this book) had so much potential - I wanted her to be fiery, passionate and strong. Which she was. At first. Throughout the book she dwindled and faded away and the time in her life which should have shown the most strength - her exile, her fight for suffrage and her political career - are sad, boring and drab. Half-hearted: As I wrote above, parts of this story felt half-assed and pretty boring. There were so many interesting things that were hardly even explored - the were just passed over. Especially Mattie's and Angus' relationship, the polygamy, and the latter part of her life. List: The beginning of this book was so good. Mattie's childhood and her medical studies showed her to be strong, determined and passionate. What followed felt more like a list of events than anything else. It was a matter-of-fact kind of explanation of the most interesting part of Mattie's life. ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review

  3. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    Martha Hughes Cannon (1857-1932) was a pioneer woman who knew what mattered to her and she pushed the limits to defy the odds. “Mattie” became one of the first female physicians and America’s first female state senator. She overcame tremendous odds. Wyoming, 1861. Mattie’s family journeys first from Wales and now across the mountains to Salt Lake City. During this journey, they lose Mattie’s sister and father. This experience gives Mattie fire to become a healer. 1873. With her heart racing and “ Martha Hughes Cannon (1857-1932) was a pioneer woman who knew what mattered to her and she pushed the limits to defy the odds. “Mattie” became one of the first female physicians and America’s first female state senator. She overcame tremendous odds. Wyoming, 1861. Mattie’s family journeys first from Wales and now across the mountains to Salt Lake City. During this journey, they lose Mattie’s sister and father. This experience gives Mattie fire to become a healer. 1873. With her heart racing and “books clutched against her chest” she rushes for her evening courses in chemistry at the University of Deseret. Her diligence and perseverance earn her a place at medical school in Michigan. After completing her medical program in Michigan and Philadelphia, she heads back to Utah to fulfill the meaning of her life – saving lives. She doesn’t want to bear a child after child as her mother did. She wants to save lives. Can polygamy be an answer to her life’s fulfillment? With her gift for speaking, a logical mind and sharp reasoning, she wins the hearts of politicians who elect her as the first female state senator of Utah. The story is so interesting and the writing is so beautiful that I wished the story were even longer and included her years as a senator. Mattie is a very interesting character: talented, ambitious, driven, practical (clothes should perform a function, not look prettily and be useless), caring (which comes through when caring for her patients). She prefers laboratories over kitchen, which is still hard to grasp by some women. She is human, who makes mistakes and in the direst situation asks her mother for an advice. Something she never thought she’d be doing. The relationship she has with her step-dad and his support is very endearing. It gives the read a very human touch. And the moments when she comes to those touching conclusions in regards to her mother. The time period of a woman forging her way in a man’s world, where she often was the first woman or one of the very few, is vividly portrayed through her first steps of perseverance to make path to medical school, then through her schooling time at medical school, and doctoring as a female doctor. It is also presented through new breakthrough in medical field of its time, humors theory vs new intriguing ideas that “illness is not caused by vapors, but by microscopic, wiggling creatures too small to be seen with a human eye.” Acknowledging and giving credit to those in medical field who did not receive it in time to enjoy it. Phenomenal writing of beautifully imagined story with vivid descriptions and engrossing protagonist and pace moving swiftly take a reader on an incredible journey of perseverance and defiance of odds. P.S. This is a very strong story and I don’t think the cover does this book justice. P.S. For those who like to read the genre of spirituality, the subject of defying the odds is well-explored in The Last Arrow by Erwin Raphael McManus. Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lisa (Bookworm Lisa)

    Her Quiet Revolution is a novel based off of a historical figure. Marth Hughes Cannon was an extraordinary woman who forged a path leading women to education and the right to vote. She quietly went about doing the things that she felt were right, even though it was forward-thinking for her time period. There are times when I find history to be as interesting as fiction. This was that book for me. The book begins with her family emigrating to the United States from Wales. It then focuses on her ed Her Quiet Revolution is a novel based off of a historical figure. Marth Hughes Cannon was an extraordinary woman who forged a path leading women to education and the right to vote. She quietly went about doing the things that she felt were right, even though it was forward-thinking for her time period. There are times when I find history to be as interesting as fiction. This was that book for me. The book begins with her family emigrating to the United States from Wales. It then focuses on her education. She became a Doctor of Medicine during the nineteenth century. The story then described her years as the wife of a polygamist who she ran against for office in the Utah State Senate. She really lived a full life in spite of the opposition that surrounded her. This book gave me a lot to think about. It made me think of some of my ancestors who may have been faced in similar circumstances. I am even more grateful for them and the sacrifices they made so that I can have the advantages I have now. I am more convinced than ever that I would never want to live with polygamy. I am VERY grateful that the practice was abolished. Most of all I am grateful for the education I have received and that women are encouraged to broaden their minds and seek an education. I would recommend this book to anyone who is loves reading about a fascinating person from history. Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    menna hafez

    Thank you so much NetGalley and Shadow Mountain publishing for providing me with ARC. This is the first novel to me by Marianne Monson and i hope to read more for her soon. This novel is so good, i love biography novels so much because it made me live events and met people i never met or know before. This novel is about an amazing woman Martha Hughes Cannon (1857-1932) the first female physicians and America’s first female state senator. I always believe that women have an incredible power to change Thank you so much NetGalley and Shadow Mountain publishing for providing me with ARC. This is the first novel to me by Marianne Monson and i hope to read more for her soon. This novel is so good, i love biography novels so much because it made me live events and met people i never met or know before. This novel is about an amazing woman Martha Hughes Cannon (1857-1932) the first female physicians and America’s first female state senator. I always believe that women have an incredible power to change the history. To be honest the novel is little bore for me and the other characters is not good as Mattie but the novel is well written.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marilee

    "Let us not waste our talents in the cauldron of modern nothingness...but strive to become women of intellect and endeavor to do some little good while we live in this protracted gleam called life." When Martha, known as Mattie, wrote those words to a friend, she could not know that future generations would look at her life as an example of exactly that. This book is well-written, fast paced, and riveting. The author does a wonderful job showing both the experiences and people that inspired Matt "Let us not waste our talents in the cauldron of modern nothingness...but strive to become women of intellect and endeavor to do some little good while we live in this protracted gleam called life." When Martha, known as Mattie, wrote those words to a friend, she could not know that future generations would look at her life as an example of exactly that. This book is well-written, fast paced, and riveting. The author does a wonderful job showing both the experiences and people that inspired Mattie's determination and journey to affect real change and the challenges she faced that led to setbacks and heartache. After losing a baby sister to sickness on the pioneer trail, Martha became determined to be a doctor at a time when women were all but banned from studying medicine. She was accepted to the only medical school who admitted women at the time and spent her life studying medicine, teaching others, and forging the way for the women who would follow in her path. She was forced into exile in Europe for a time to escape the consequences of her polygamous marriage but later returned to Utah and became the head of a nursing school and fought for women's suffrage. She was eventually elected as the first female senator where she championed causes such as clean drinking water, better sanitation, and laws that protected the working class and increased public health and safety. This book does great justice to Mattie's influential life and work and will hopefully inspire others, as it did for me, to take the advice she received from a friend: "Go change things, for you, for me, and for our daughters." *Many thanks to the publisher for an advance copy - my thoughts and opinions are my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    I needed to have some time after reading Her Quiet Revolution by Marianne Monson to think about this review. It is a difficult one to write. Upon reading the book description, I was quite interested. I was completely unfamiliar with Dr. Cannon and wanted to find out more. A woman in her time who became not only a doctor but also a senator! Amazing! And from Utah? Why have I not heard of her? From the description I expected to find out why, after being uninterested in being in a polygamist marria I needed to have some time after reading Her Quiet Revolution by Marianne Monson to think about this review. It is a difficult one to write. Upon reading the book description, I was quite interested. I was completely unfamiliar with Dr. Cannon and wanted to find out more. A woman in her time who became not only a doctor but also a senator! Amazing! And from Utah? Why have I not heard of her? From the description I expected to find out why, after being uninterested in being in a polygamist marriage she then ended up marrying a polygamist. I wondered why such an independent woman decided on following that path in life and how it affected her previous decisions and future ambitions. I was disappointed to see that those issues, while promised, went unaddressed. Her Quiet Revolution, at times reads like propaganda for the LDS. Obviously , at the time, polygamy was church policy. One that has since been reconsidered. This book does not educate the reader on polygamy. We are not told exactly what it is or the reasoning behind it. We are not told how it was viewed by church members, either female or male, nor are we told much of how non-believers viewed it. We aren't even told anything about Dr. Cannon's views and the book is about her! There is obviously more to this book than polygamy but much of thus book seems to take place after her marriage to Angus Cannon and her flight, with child, to elude government officials. How much she may have accomplished if she did not have to abandon her life here we will never know. She accomplished much with all of the troubles brought into her life by this marriage. The reader is not given very information about the courtship between Dr. Cannon and Angus Cannon at all. What did she see in him that she not only went against her purported feelings about plural marriage but seemed worth the sacrifices she must have known would be required? She was well aware that the government was cracking down on polygamists at that time, she knew she needed to hide the relationship and the marriage. I don't understand, the book did not show or tell us why. We do see some of her frustration at the situation and him but not much. Why, when we read of her admiration for her mother's and step-fathers's marriage and her desire to replicate it, did she then change her mind and enter into a plural marriage? We also are not told what happened to the wives. Neither before or after the crackdown. Dr. Cannon was certainly the exception to the majority of plural wives. She married a "celebrity" in the LDS world as opposed to just a regular guy. He had money and a name. She had a career and her own money. She was able to go on the run, she even traveled to Europe. What about the ordinary people who did not have similar resources? Once polygamy was no longer allowed and only first wives recognized, what happened to the other wives and the other children? As a women's rights proponent, did Dr. Cannon turn a blind eye, was she unaware? We don't know. I think this should have been addressed. She is not accountable, nor should she be, but as a woman who was interested in women's suffrage, etc. it seems to me, at least, that this is something she would have thought about. Her Quiet Revolution promises more than it delivered in my opinion. I expected an insight into Dr. Cannon's life, her choices. I expected to learn more about this remarkable woman, how she became who she became, her quest for education, her career both as a doctor and a senator but so much of that was missing.

  8. 5 out of 5

    A.

    This well researched and presented book is a novelized history of a very real woman.  Her very real struggles are compellingly conveyed, as well as her many accomplishments and triumphs.  Mattie's early years are thoroughly described; I feel I have a solid sense of her roots and background.  I was impressed with the broad scope of this book.  Mattie's life encompasses challenges with discrimination against women (especially in her chosen field), life practicing polygamy during widespread persecu This well researched and presented book is a novelized history of a very real woman.  Her very real struggles are compellingly conveyed, as well as her many accomplishments and triumphs.  Mattie's early years are thoroughly described; I feel I have a solid sense of her roots and background.  I was impressed with the broad scope of this book.  Mattie's life encompasses challenges with discrimination against women (especially in her chosen field), life practicing polygamy during widespread persecution and subsequent discontinuing the practice, and educating a populace who has been taught erroneously and resists her scientific-based reteaching efforts.  Despite her many challenges, I felt of her faith and trust in God as she made the most of the gifts and experiences she had.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    3.5 stars. As one of the early pioneer women who attended med school, became a suffragette, spoke at the Chicago World’s Fair, and became the first female State Senator in Utah, Mattie Cannon is a fascinating, incredible woman. She was also a polygamist wife who had to flee the country to avoid arrest. I loved learning about her life! The polygamy courtship was tough reading when you think of the pain it likely caused Angus’s other wives, but I appreciated the author not trying to rose color it 3.5 stars. As one of the early pioneer women who attended med school, became a suffragette, spoke at the Chicago World’s Fair, and became the first female State Senator in Utah, Mattie Cannon is a fascinating, incredible woman. She was also a polygamist wife who had to flee the country to avoid arrest. I loved learning about her life! The polygamy courtship was tough reading when you think of the pain it likely caused Angus’s other wives, but I appreciated the author not trying to rose color it too much. Some of the most complicated issues in her life were skimmed over more than I would have liked, but it was a good intro to who Mattie Cannon was. Historical novels whose main character is based on a real individual are sometimes a disappointment to me however, as you spend much of the novel wondering what’s real and what’s invented. Overall, it was a pleasure to read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Martha Hughes Cannon lived a fascinating life. I’m surprise that I don’t recall having learned about her before as there is so much that stands out-one of the first female doctors in Utah, a player in women’s suffrage, exiled as a polygamous wife, and the first female State Senator to name a few things. The chapter notes at the end of the book said that Mattie requested that her journals be burned at her death. I am so curious about how she felt about her very unusual situation in a polygamous m Martha Hughes Cannon lived a fascinating life. I’m surprise that I don’t recall having learned about her before as there is so much that stands out-one of the first female doctors in Utah, a player in women’s suffrage, exiled as a polygamous wife, and the first female State Senator to name a few things. The chapter notes at the end of the book said that Mattie requested that her journals be burned at her death. I am so curious about how she felt about her very unusual situation in a polygamous marriage. The secrecy and legal issues that caused her to flee the country with her baby seemed like ample cause to move on. I would have loved to have more information about why she stuck with Angus (although the book only mentioned rare occasions that they were together-for awhile I thought he’d abandoned her and their daughter, but then there was mention of her still being his wife and more children). There were gaps and some of the transitions between events was choppy. I felt a little lost at times. Parts of the story seemed to drag on while other parts left off without closure. That said, it really was eye opening to learn about this amazing woman. She really went against the norm of her time in getting an education and becoming a doctor. She continued her education in oration, and made a big difference in women’s suffrage and in public health.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    Her Quiet Revolution by Marianne Monson This story of Martha Hughes Cannon largely takes place in the (1860s) Utah Territory before Utah becomes a state. “Mattie,” as Martha is called , transforms from a young girl to a doctor to a U.S. Senator in her lifetime. The story covers Mattie’s decision to go alone to medical school across the country, return home to establish her own medical practice and start a nursing school in her Salt Lake City community. Somehow, however, this very independent and Her Quiet Revolution by Marianne Monson This story of Martha Hughes Cannon largely takes place in the (1860s) Utah Territory before Utah becomes a state. “Mattie,” as Martha is called , transforms from a young girl to a doctor to a U.S. Senator in her lifetime. The story covers Mattie’s decision to go alone to medical school across the country, return home to establish her own medical practice and start a nursing school in her Salt Lake City community. Somehow, however, this very independent and courageous young woman ends up in a polygamist marriage, spending years pining for a man she cannot really have. If you never knew about the Latter Day Saints (LDS), this book could be a primer for you on the subject. The language is old fashioned/outdated to create a feeling of the times, but this reader felt the story was wordy to a fault, and, in parts, unnecessarily long. Mattie Cannon certainly opened the door for women in her quest for women’s suffrage and equal opportunities in work and politics. I just couldn’t reconcile all this with being one of four wives (with three children of her own) to a man who denies her in the end. Many thanks to #NetGalley and #ShadowMountain Publishers for an ARC for my review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    I love reading historical novels about people. It gives the reader more of a complete picture of life for that person and life at that time in general. This book did that for me, and more! I had heard of Martha Hughes Cannon. But, I knew very little about her. But I’d never really wondered how she was as a person. Or what kinds of things she would have gone through in her life. I loved learning all of those things as I read this one. This book really helped me form a more complete picture of life I love reading historical novels about people. It gives the reader more of a complete picture of life for that person and life at that time in general. This book did that for me, and more! I had heard of Martha Hughes Cannon. But, I knew very little about her. But I’d never really wondered how she was as a person. Or what kinds of things she would have gone through in her life. I loved learning all of those things as I read this one. This book really helped me form a more complete picture of life would have been like for women in the late 1800’s. There were so many little things that I picked up from this novel that I wouldn’t have been able to in other ways. And there were a bunch of things that I learned about polygamy from Martha’s experiences as well. One thing that really fascinated me was the way she had to leave the country for a time to escape being arrested for being the wife of a polygamist. This book really opened my eyes to some of those things. I loved reading this book! If you have a chance to read it, I’d love to hear what you thought as well. You could just leave me a comment if you want to. I was sent an e-copy of Her Quiet Revolution as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    Her Quiet Revolution ended up being a great surprise to me. I love history and reading historical fiction. This book happens to be a Biographical Historical Fiction. It's based on the life of Martha Hughes Cannon (1857-1932) a Pioneer woman, one of the first female doctors to go to medical school, and the first female state senator. Her credentials are quite impressive but she went through a lot to get to that long list of accomplishments. This book spans four decades starting when she came acros Her Quiet Revolution ended up being a great surprise to me. I love history and reading historical fiction. This book happens to be a Biographical Historical Fiction. It's based on the life of Martha Hughes Cannon (1857-1932) a Pioneer woman, one of the first female doctors to go to medical school, and the first female state senator. Her credentials are quite impressive but she went through a lot to get to that long list of accomplishments. This book spans four decades starting when she came across the plains of America in a covered wagon with her family. During this trip, her baby sister dies and her father dies three days after they enter the Salt Lake Valley. These tragic deaths motivate her to study to become a healer and eventually a well-respected doctor. During this period, and in Utah, it is amazing that she was able to reach her goals. I admire Mattie so much and how she didn't give in and always was looking for ways to achieve her dreams. She definitely was not like most women in her time period. Mattie wanted more than to just have a husband and children. The one aspect of her life that shocked me a bit is when she fell in love with Angus Cannon, a prominent Mormon leader, and polygamist. Though she married him and had children with him, she never had him fully in her nor her children's life. Polygamy was not a popular thing in the late 1800s in the USA and Mattie had to flee a few times to protect her and her children from local & federal authorities. This book showcases so many ideas and the beginnings of women building a place for themselves in the USA and the world. Mattie was there at the beginnings of great medical understandings and practices. Mattie helped open doors for women being accepted into medical school and into the profession. She also stood as a voice for women to be heard and represented in the political arena. Her life was so amazing and I so enjoyed reading about her and her family. I especially loved her step-father, James, who basically raised her from a young child. He loved and supported Mattie and cushioned the hard stance that Mattie's mother Elizabeth took towards Mattie's early life choices. In later years, her mother changed her views and was a great support to Mattie and her children. This was an incredible read that made me grateful for women like Mattie. They paved the way for the women of today. I highly recommend this book to all readers who love historical fiction.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Mary Hughes Cannon was known as Mattie in her life. She was born in Wales. As a small child, she went to America with her parents and two siblings. As they travel across the Unite States by wagon train, her father and the baby died. Her mother Elizabeth was heart broken but determined to make it to Salt Lake City. Elizabeth remarries and has more children. Mattie has a good relationship with her stepfather. Her mother wants Matti to marry and have babies which Mattie doesn’t want. Mattie wants t Mary Hughes Cannon was known as Mattie in her life. She was born in Wales. As a small child, she went to America with her parents and two siblings. As they travel across the Unite States by wagon train, her father and the baby died. Her mother Elizabeth was heart broken but determined to make it to Salt Lake City. Elizabeth remarries and has more children. Mattie has a good relationship with her stepfather. Her mother wants Matti to marry and have babies which Mattie doesn’t want. Mattie wants to be a doctor. She works during the day and goes to school at night. She goes to medical school in Michigan. She becomes a doctor in spite of the attitudes of the male professors and students and pranks that happen to her. After graduation she goes on to the medical school of Pennsylvania. She is proposed to and turns down the offer of marriage. She goes home to start a private practice and works as a doctor at the new Desert Hospital. She quickly becomes the head of the hospital. Before she went to medical school, most of society through of women as inferior beings. She became involved in the suffragette movement due to this thinking and treatment of women. Mattie does fall in love but with a man who already has three wives. He was arrested by federal marshals and spent time in prison. The federal government wanted Mattie to give testimony against those who practiced polygamy. She had to leave the country with her new born baby when they found out she was married to a polygamist. When she did come back from Europe, it was due that the arrest warrant was no longer in effect. When she came back she was asked to run as a Democrat to become a Senator. She ran against her own husband who was a republican. Guess who won! This historical novel gives the biography of a woman who did many significant things during a time in history where much was in flux. She went from being a daughter to the first woman senator in Utah. It was unthinkable in her time. There are footnotes given for where the author learned about this remarkable woman. It’s a great read! Disclaimer: I received an arc of this ebook from the author/publisher from Netgalley. I wasn’t obligated to write a favorable review or any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Martha Hughes Cannon: true life story of a Mormon girl who goes to medical school. She marries a polygamist and then has to run from the law. She goes to England and Wales (where her daughter swallows ammona and almost dies). She meets a healer and learns the healers art (even though she is already a doctor). She comes back to the United states because her dad is sick. When she gets back, polygamy is abolished which means she is not married to her husband and her children are considered illegiti Martha Hughes Cannon: true life story of a Mormon girl who goes to medical school. She marries a polygamist and then has to run from the law. She goes to England and Wales (where her daughter swallows ammona and almost dies). She meets a healer and learns the healers art (even though she is already a doctor). She comes back to the United states because her dad is sick. When she gets back, polygamy is abolished which means she is not married to her husband and her children are considered illegitimate. She gets to spend a week with her husband in New York. Then she resumes teaching nursing school. She takes up the women’s sufferage movement and goes to the world fair in Chicago and speaks. She is asked to run for state senator (democratic ticket) and ends up running against her husband (republican). She wins the election and her husband does not. Her platform is clean water, clean air, and vaccinations. I found it interesting that people think that Mormon women as not having rights and yet Utah was the first state to allow women to vote. Their ability to vote was standard and then taken away by the American government. However, when Utah applied for statehood: women being able to vote was a condition of becoming a state. Women church leaders like Emmeline Wells were very involved rallying for women’s right to vote. Brigham Young also encouraged young women to got to medical school and even set them apart as healers after they graduated.

  16. 5 out of 5

    NaDell

    Martha Hughes Cannon was an amazing woman! She was on the cutting edge of so many things. She was two when her family cross the plains by wagon to come to Utah. She went to school and begged to go to college to become a doctor-one of the first female doctors! She didn't marry early, but eventually did marry as a fourth wife to Angus Cannon and had three children with him, but never really lived with him. She had a warrant out for her arrest, so she ran from the law and hid out in Europe under fa Martha Hughes Cannon was an amazing woman! She was on the cutting edge of so many things. She was two when her family cross the plains by wagon to come to Utah. She went to school and begged to go to college to become a doctor-one of the first female doctors! She didn't marry early, but eventually did marry as a fourth wife to Angus Cannon and had three children with him, but never really lived with him. She had a warrant out for her arrest, so she ran from the law and hid out in Europe under false names. She was a feminist, fighting for woman's rights. She was also a Democrat (assigned in those days in order to have good debate and ideas) who ran for Senate against her Republican husband (and won!) When Martha (Mattie) went to help a woman in labor, my fourth great grandma is mentioned. Patty Bartlett Sessions was a very well-known mid-wife along the pioneer trail and in Utah. It was cool to read about that. I found a few typos, but it was very well-written.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dede

    This is an interesting novel about an historical person with whom I was unfamiliar. Ms. Monson did extensive research into the life of Martha Hughes Cannon. In the first parts of the novel every chapter begins with an excerpt from one of Mattie's journals from medical school, and last part of the book each chapter begins with a quote from one of many her speeches. From these quotes and the story of the novel, the reader learns about life in the early Utah territory and the struggles faced by wom This is an interesting novel about an historical person with whom I was unfamiliar. Ms. Monson did extensive research into the life of Martha Hughes Cannon. In the first parts of the novel every chapter begins with an excerpt from one of Mattie's journals from medical school, and last part of the book each chapter begins with a quote from one of many her speeches. From these quotes and the story of the novel, the reader learns about life in the early Utah territory and the struggles faced by women in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Mattie had to fight to get an education and eventually go to med school. Just getting an education was unusual, but Mattie also taught others and opened a hospital nursing school before becoming a state senator. For me the story dragged in places, but I am glad I learned about Martha Hughes Cannon. I received a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you #NetGalley.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Diane Standish

    Thanks to #shadowmountainpublishing and #netgalley for the opportunity to read and review #herquietrevolution. This excellent book tells the story of Martha Hughes Cannon. Martha was the daughter of Welsh immigrants who came to America as converts to the LDS religion. She grew up in the late 1800's in Utah. She was fascinated by the human body and persisted against the more of the time that women didn't become physicians. Her struggles to forge her own path is truly inspiring. She was persecuted Thanks to #shadowmountainpublishing and #netgalley for the opportunity to read and review #herquietrevolution. This excellent book tells the story of Martha Hughes Cannon. Martha was the daughter of Welsh immigrants who came to America as converts to the LDS religion. She grew up in the late 1800's in Utah. She was fascinated by the human body and persisted against the more of the time that women didn't become physicians. Her struggles to forge her own path is truly inspiring. She was persecuted for her marriage to a man who practiced polygamy. She endured prejudice in her career, but never lost her courage or her principles. An excellent book and recommend highly.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    Her Quiet Revolution is the story of Martha Hughes Cannon who was one of the first female frontier doctors and also became a state senator after valiantly fighting for women’s rights. Author Marianne Manson caught me interest from page one with her depiction of the difficult and inspiring life of young Martha Hughes. I was proud of the characters love of science and commitment to study medicine. She made great friends, advocated for healthy living and supported those around her. The second half o Her Quiet Revolution is the story of Martha Hughes Cannon who was one of the first female frontier doctors and also became a state senator after valiantly fighting for women’s rights. Author Marianne Manson caught me interest from page one with her depiction of the difficult and inspiring life of young Martha Hughes. I was proud of the characters love of science and commitment to study medicine. She made great friends, advocated for healthy living and supported those around her. The second half off the novel was a bit challenging for me. Not the writing but the decisions made by Martha Hughes to enter into a polygamist marriage. I understood that love guided her but her choices - throughout her life - made it difficult or me to ‘sympathize’ with the main character. But Marianne Manson shared the true detailed story that did indeed keep me intrigued, thoughtful and, at times, disappointed.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nan Williams

    This was a novel based closely on the life of Martha Hughes Cannon, MD. Born in Wales and brought to this nation as a convert to Mormonism as a child, her story began in this book with the long journey from NYC to Utah in 1861. The book covers 4 decades of history and presents them in a most readable manner. Marianne Monson is to be congratulated on the depth of her research and the presentation of her material. I found this book to be most interesting and – once again – an historical novel whic This was a novel based closely on the life of Martha Hughes Cannon, MD. Born in Wales and brought to this nation as a convert to Mormonism as a child, her story began in this book with the long journey from NYC to Utah in 1861. The book covers 4 decades of history and presents them in a most readable manner. Marianne Monson is to be congratulated on the depth of her research and the presentation of her material. I found this book to be most interesting and – once again – an historical novel which will lead me into further research about the information covered. That’s always a winner in my opinion. There were many questions in my mind as I read the history covered. Questions such as, “What happened to all the other wives disenfranchised when polygamy was ruled illegal and the men were not only labeled as bigamists, but sent to prison?” Following the story of Dr. Cannon’s life (which ended all too abruptly), the reader is treated to about 35 pages (roughly 10% of the total) of the author’s notes, chapter by chapter. That was interesting and helped to answer some of the lingering questions that I had. All in all, it’s a worthy read. It’s part of the history of the United States as well as being a history of medicine and a history of women’s suffrage. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Shadow Mountain Publisher, for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Suey

    Despite some slow bits, I found the story of this pioneer lady (in more ways than one!) really interesting. She was amazing, but also made some choices where I just wanted to say... WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?? Lol.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Vilo

    Well written novel imagining Mrs. Cannon's life, career as a doctor and then a politician. I have a hard time with historical fiction because I always want to know what really happened and what was added for effect. I got some answers but will be researching Martha Hughes Cannon's life again. Well written novel imagining Mrs. Cannon's life, career as a doctor and then a politician. I have a hard time with historical fiction because I always want to know what really happened and what was added for effect. I got some answers but will be researching Martha Hughes Cannon's life again.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lois

    She faced amazing odds but made a mark in history. She is a great example to me.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I loved this biographical novel of Mattie Hughes Cannon! She was a remarkable woman who lived such an interesting and challenging and important life. I didn't want to put this down. I loved this biographical novel of Mattie Hughes Cannon! She was a remarkable woman who lived such an interesting and challenging and important life. I didn't want to put this down.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Janet Graham

    Fictionalized Biography of an Outstanding 1800s Woman This is a very in-depth account of the true life of Martha Hughes Cannon. The added fiction allows the book to become alive and follows her life story quite well. I was disappointed that the story ends with her election to the State Senate of Utah. The remaining years of her life were as productive as the early years. The book is highly readable, not stuffy and is a page-turner. The reader quickly becomes immersed in post Civil War life. It is Fictionalized Biography of an Outstanding 1800s Woman This is a very in-depth account of the true life of Martha Hughes Cannon. The added fiction allows the book to become alive and follows her life story quite well. I was disappointed that the story ends with her election to the State Senate of Utah. The remaining years of her life were as productive as the early years. The book is highly readable, not stuffy and is a page-turner. The reader quickly becomes immersed in post Civil War life. It is a compelling account. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Hyde

    Wow, I learned so much about a very interesting woman. She did so much for the advancement of medicine, public health, and women in a time that did not welcome women’s opinions. Worth reading

  27. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    Martha Hughes Cannon is my great aunt, her sister Lotta is my Great grandmother. The stories included in this work of historical fiction are familiar to me, my family’s record keeper, and most of my large extended family. It’s a little weird to read a novel about a beloved family member. I don’t know the author nor her connection to our “Mattie.” For a reader outside the family, I hope the story of this courageous, independent, intelligent woman is inspiring. A lot can be learned from many source Martha Hughes Cannon is my great aunt, her sister Lotta is my Great grandmother. The stories included in this work of historical fiction are familiar to me, my family’s record keeper, and most of my large extended family. It’s a little weird to read a novel about a beloved family member. I don’t know the author nor her connection to our “Mattie.” For a reader outside the family, I hope the story of this courageous, independent, intelligent woman is inspiring. A lot can be learned from many sources about Mattie, a bellwether for Women in politics, medicine, and women’s suffrage. I enjoyed the portrayal of my great-great grandparents, Elizabeth Evans Hughes Paul and James Patten Paul, and their daughter Lotta, all are also amazing people with profound influence in the lives of their posterity.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kati Berman

    Her Quiet Revolution I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.The book is based on the life of Martha Hughes Cannon, the first female senator from Utah in the late 19th century. From the author’s notes after the end of the book, it is obvious that a lot of thorough research went into writing this book and the novel closely follows real life people and events. Martha or Mattie as she is known is brought to Utah from Wales as a child. During the trip west, the family lo Her Quiet Revolution I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.The book is based on the life of Martha Hughes Cannon, the first female senator from Utah in the late 19th century. From the author’s notes after the end of the book, it is obvious that a lot of thorough research went into writing this book and the novel closely follows real life people and events. Martha or Mattie as she is known is brought to Utah from Wales as a child. During the trip west, the family loses a child and a father. This loss has a great impact on Mattie’s decision to eventually become a doctor. In Utah Mattie is faced with religious practices, and she admires those healers who employ science in their work. Mattie pursues education in spite of lack of support from her mother. Her stepfather, James however is very supportive of Mattie. She is accepted to the University of Michigan medical school, one of a handful of women. When she comes back to Utah after graduation, she marries Angus, a polygamist and has a child with him. Due to the government trying to abolish polygamy, and arrest those practicing, she needs to escape to Europe alone with a baby, but she returns to Utah a few months later. Mattie’s courageous struggle for independence, woman’s rights eventually wins her the democratic nomination to the Utah senate, after Utah becomes a state. This book is very well written, and I found it very educational. I also could very much identify with the women’s struggle for equality. More than a 100 years later, there is still wage inequality for women. I found the ending very abrupt, and also felt that Angus’s and Mattie’s relationship after she returns from Europe was not explained enough. Overall, good, interesting read, 4 stars. Thanks NetGalley, the publisher and the author for the advanced copy.

  29. 4 out of 5

    M

    4.5 Stars. The first fourth to third of the book was much better than the last fourth. Monson covered several topics with frank truthfulness including polygamy and faith/blessings involving healing in the early days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The book was a difficult one for me to read and left me a bit unsettled. However, just because a book was unsettling does not mean it was not good. So, I gave the book five stars in spite of my own discomfort. Polygamy was unsettling 4.5 Stars. The first fourth to third of the book was much better than the last fourth. Monson covered several topics with frank truthfulness including polygamy and faith/blessings involving healing in the early days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The book was a difficult one for me to read and left me a bit unsettled. However, just because a book was unsettling does not mean it was not good. So, I gave the book five stars in spite of my own discomfort. Polygamy was unsettling as could be expected. In part, it was troubling for me in particular because because my husband was widowed before I married him. The idea that there can only be "one true love" in life doesn't sit right. I know polygamy was hard for many, but I've also heard situations where it was good, where the women became dear friends and sisters. I don't believe we know all of the emotions of Mattie or the others. Maybe she really struggled with it all the time. On the other hand, maybe it was more mixed--times when was fine with it and times when she was not. Regardless, I did appreciate the perspective of polygamy and its difficulties, especially after the proclamation that ended the open practice of polygamy. I gave the book such a high rating because the novel was very well researched, the narrative was engaging, the story captivating, and it was very educational. It even held me captive during the COVID-19 quarantine where my mind is any place but centered on fiction. In fact, I found the medical aspects of the book quite fascinating in light of our current pandemic. I found myself driven to the Internet to learn more about medicine, pioneer lives, and the people in the book. I loved the chapter end notes. This allowed me to know which parts were fictitious and assumptions the author made and which parts were factual. Those completed the book for me. I wish the end had dealt less with the Chicago World's fair (in fact, I'd almost say to skip those two or three chapters as they spend most of the time quoting others' speeches) and spent more time focusing on the realities of women's suffrage efforts in Utah and Cannon's political campaign. The book ended too soon for me, which was right after she won the election. I would have loved to hear about her time in the legislature. Thank you to Net Galley and Shadow Mountain for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    #HerQuietRevelution #NetGalley A historical novel on the life of Martha Huges Cannon. Mattie learned about death from a young age and grew up loving to learn about science. She worked as a type setter, to pay her way through school. Against her mothers wishes, Mattie went back East to college, to study medicine and become a doctor. Mattie was smart and was at the top of her class. When Mattie came back to Utah, she joined the women's suffrage and was an advocate for women. Mattie married a polyg #HerQuietRevelution #NetGalley A historical novel on the life of Martha Huges Cannon. Mattie learned about death from a young age and grew up loving to learn about science. She worked as a type setter, to pay her way through school. Against her mothers wishes, Mattie went back East to college, to study medicine and become a doctor. Mattie was smart and was at the top of her class. When Mattie came back to Utah, she joined the women's suffrage and was an advocate for women. Mattie married a polygamist around the time the government was trying to ban polygamy. Mattie became Utah's first woman senator. This book could have been a little shorter, I liked Mattie's strong determination to become a doctor, in a time where only a few women went into the medical field.

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